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AHCPR Seeks Study Proposals for Putting Research to Work in Medical Practice

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Press Release Date: January 12, 1999

The U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) is seeking proposals for studies aimed at implementing research findings and evidence-based tools and information in everyday clinical practice. Evidence-based tools and information include clinical practice guidelines, algorithms, treatment protocols, practice parameters, quality indicators and continuous quality improvement initiatives developed using a systematic approach to the evaluation and synthesis of evidence.

AHCPR, which received a $25 million increase in its budget for research on quality, outcomes, and the cost, use and access to health services, expects to award up to $2 million in fiscal year 1999 to fund the first year of projects resulting from this Request for Applications (RFA).

"As health services researchers, our challenge is to take research findings and quality improvement tools from the pages of medical journals and make them understandable and accessible to the decision making of clinicians wherever they practice, as well as to help each of their patients become partners in medical decision making" said John M. Eisenberg, M.D., AHCPRs administrator. Dr. Eisenberg said clinicians are currently inundated with information from more than 3,800 biomedical journals and over 7,300 citations weekly, of which only some is evidence-based.

Among the questions AHCPR wants answered are which strategies, or combinations of strategies, consistently demonstrate improved behavior change and whether they can be generalized to a range of clinicians, health care systems, and geographic areas; how the structure of health care organizations affects implementation of evidence-based tools and information; how implementation of evidence-based tools and information affects health outcomes, costs and quality of life; and what is the comparative cost-effectiveness of various strategies for implementing evidence-based tools and information.

The RFA, which is described in detail in the January 8, 1998 NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HS-99-003.html is part of a series of new calls for research to improve quality of care. The first RFA, "Measurement of Quality of Care for Vulnerable Populations," was published in the NIH Guide on December 22, 1998.

Print copies of the RFA and application forms are available from the AHCPR Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 8547, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8547; phone 800-358-9295.

For additional information, contact AHCPR Public Affairs: Karen Migdail, (301) 427-1855 (KMigdail@ahrq.gov).

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